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Charges fly over clash on tech campus

Two groups of engineering students clashed with each other on the Magadh Engineering College campus on Thursday, alleging misbehaviour and ragging.

Since Monday, 120 first-year students of Nalanda Engineering College had been travelling 100km daily to the Magadh institute for practical classes. A clash broke out on the campus in Khisersarai block, around 20km north of Gaya town, on Thursday.

The Magadh students alleged the group from Nalanda had misbehaved with their principal, did not follow the dress code (salwar suits for girls and casual trousers for boys) and passed comments at the girl students. The Nalanda group instead accused the senior students of the Magadh institute of ragging.

During the clash, windowpanes of the bus that ferried the Nalanda students to the institute and back were also smashed. Some students of both institutes received minor injuries.

Nalanda Engineering College in Chandi, around 30km northwest of Nalanda, does not have laboratories of its own. Its students have to go to other institutes for practical workshops. Every technical institute in the state is affiliated to Aryabhatta Knowledge University.

A source said when fourth-year students of the Magadh college asked the outsiders to follow the dress code, the group allegedly became aggressive leading to the clash. Khisersarai police later arrived to bring the situation under control.

The source claimed the Nalanda students were involved in a similar situation in Chhapra three months ago.

The Magadh Engineering College principal, Anil Kumar, said: “The clash broke out over indiscipline on part of the Nalanda Engineering College students. They won’t be allowed to attend further practical classes here.”